 Recently, the President Promulgated Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance 2021 through which the Appellate authorities under nine laws have been replaced with High Courts.

 It aims to dissolve certain appellate bodies and direct their roles and duties to other judicial bodies that are entailed in the table given below:

 the Ordinance curtails reduction of the tenure of the Chairpersons and Members of certain tribunals of National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, Securities Appellate Tribunal, Debt Recovery Tribunal, National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, and the Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal, Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.
 The Ordinance has amended the eligibility for a citizen to be selected as a Chairperson or Member of a Tribunal, thereby, making it mandatory that such a person who has not completed the age of fifty-five (55) year shall not eligible.
 Search-cum-selection committees
o The Chairperson and Members of the Tribunals will be appointed by the central government on the recommendation of a Search-cum-Selection Committee.
 The Committee will consist of o Chief Justice of India, or a Supreme Court Judge nominated by him, as the Chairperson (with casting vote),
o Secretaries nominated by the central government,
o The sitting or outgoing Chairperson, or a retired Supreme Court Judge, or a retired Chief Justice of a High Court.
o The Secretary of the Ministry under which the Tribunal is constituted (with no voting right).

The concept of tribunals was introduced because it has certain advantages over ordinary courts. Few of them are mentioned below-
 Flexibility: The introduction of tribunals engendered flexibility and versatility in the judicial system of India. Unlike the procedures of the ordinary court which are stringent and inflexible, the administrative tribunals have a quite informal and easy-going procedure.
 Speedy Justice: The core objective of the tribunal is to deliver quick and quality justice. Since the procedure here is not so complex, so, it is easy to decide the matters quickly and efficiently.
 Less Expensive: The Tribunals take less time to solve the cases as compared to the ordinary courts.
As a result, the expenses are reduced. On the other hand, the ordinary courts have cumbrous and slow-going, thus, making the litigation costly. Therefore, the tribunals are cheaper than ordinary courts.
 Quality Justice: If we consider the present scenario, the tribunals are the best and the most effective method of providing adequate and quality justice in less time.
 Relief to Courts: The system of adjudication has lowered down the burden of the cases on the ordinary courts.

Although, tribunals play a very crucial role in the welfare of modern society, yet it has some defects in it. Some of the criticisms of the tribunal are discussed below-
 Against the Rule of Law: It can be observed that the establishment of the administrative tribunals has repudiated the concept of rule of law. Rule of law was propounded to promote equality before the law and supremacy of ordinary law over the arbitrary functioning of the government. The tribunals somewhere restrict the ambit of the rule of law by providing separate laws and procedures for certain matters.
 Lack of specified procedure: The administrative adjudicatory bodies do not have any rigid set of rules and procedures. Thus, there is a chance of violation of the principle of natural justice.
 No prediction of future decisions: Since the tribunals do not follow precedents, it is not possible to predict future decisions.
 Scope of Arbitrariness: The civil and criminal courts work on a uniform code of procedure as prescribed under C.P.C and Cr.P.C respectively. But the tribunals have no such stringent procedure.
They are allowed to make their own procedure which may lead to arbitrariness in the functioning of these tribunals.
 Absence of legal expertise: It is not necessary that the members of the tribunals must belong to a legal background. They may be the experts of different fields but not essentially trained in judicial work. Therefore, they may lack the required legal expertise which is an indispensable part of resolving disputes.

 It can be concluded that in the present scenario, the administration has become an important part of the government as well as the citizen’s life. Due to this increasing role, it is important to establish a competent authority for the redressal of people’s grievances and adjudication of the disputes. Therefore, the concept of tribunals was emerged and is dynamically flourishing in India holding certain flaws and strengths.



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